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447

of unidentifiable filth, and above, the glass was bone dry. The
light struck dully through the stained transparency. Against
the wall, he made out a small huddle of clothing, lying as
dropped there. He stepped to it, and on a momentary im-
pulse leaned to pick it up, gingerly, between his thumb and
forefinger. A flat, black beetle, polished clean like a button,
moved unhurriedly from the spot where it had been con-
cealed, and disappeared beneath the bottom log. Mr. Munn
held up the object. It was a man's jacket, once blue, now
faded splotchily to dun. The fabric was unyielding and
wooden in his hand. It had long since lost the shape of the
figure it had clothed, and had stiffened earthily, once and for
all, to the contour of the surface on which it had lain. When
he dropped it, it struck dryly on the puncheon.

He went back into the other room, and tried the ladder. It
was heavily built, and seemed firm. Cautiously, he climbed
up. He stretched himself out on the rough floor. The beams
were solid. After a little while he fell asleep. He roused in
the early afternoon, ate almost all of the food he had left, and
went to the branch for a drink. Then he came back, and lay
down until almost dusk.

Just after full dark, he came to a crossroads store. He
looked in, and saw that it was empty, except for an old man
sitting in a chair propped against the wall. A lamp in a
bracket with a tin reflector burned above him. Mr. Munn
went in, and bought a package of crackers and a piece of
cheese. He put these objects into the pockets of his coat, and
went on.

The next morning, looking southward from the brow of a
little rise, he saw familiar country. A railroad track bisected
the wide, shallow valley, the rails glittering in the light. OH
each side of the track the clean fields of corn and tobacco lay,
the plants standing in long rows of geometrical precision.
Cattle were motionless in the distant pastures. The barns and
houses, and the groves around them, looked fresh and washed
in the limpidity of early morning. He knew that a few nalles
up the track, east, was Monckir, He left the feae